The Boston Bruins have the best postseason power play in the NHL. Nothing changed after Game 1. The Bruins power play continues to pay dividends in the playoffs and scored two goals in 28 seconds Thursday night. The very special teams powered the Bruins past the Hurricanes for a 1-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Final.
The Bruins special teams success was about making the proper adjustments. In the first two periods, the Bruins could not generate speed or opportunity. Carolina’s stingy neutral zone defense did not allow Boston to enter the zone with ease or regularity.
The Bruins made adjustments after the second period to get pucks deep and made a concerted effort to move the puck quicker.
Instead of being patient with the puck, Boston moved the puck board to board, which got Carolina’s defense moving side to side allowing the passing lanes to open. For example on the Bruins first power-play goal, David Krejci makes a pass over to Brad Marchand. Marchand now has options from his position on the rink. With Marcus Johansson in front of the net, Marchand fires it on goal. With Jake DeBrusk occupying one of the defenders for Carolina, this allows Johansson to score a greasy goal to tie the game.
Versatility is another key to the Bruins power play as they can throw so many different looks. Not only can the second unit get it done, but so can the top unit. For instance, Boston used quick tic-tac-toe passing to take the lead as Patrice Bergeron fired one past Petr Mrazek and Jake DeBrusk had the hockey sense to make a pass to Brad Marchand on his knees.
After Game 1 the Boston Bruins Power play is now operating at a 30 percent conversion rate. Out of the four remaining teams left in the playoffs, the Bruins have the best penalty kill percentage at 82.5 percent. Also, the Bruins are 4-0 in the playoffs when scoring two or more power play goals in a game.